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Irelia Build Guide by DEWO

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DEWO

Irelia, Ionian Blades

DEWO Last updated on November 2, 2011
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Top Lane
Ranked #55 in
Top Lane
Win 51%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 21

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

Chapter 1

Welcome to my Irelia by Belenzor guide.

You can find my other guides here:
DEWO's Profile




This build will show you how to build and play Irelia as a DPS Assasin champion.
Many ppl build her as a dps champ all the way and go into jungle. I play her a bit diferent. I dont focus on Hiten Style, i dont jungle. I stay on lane getting easy last hits on creeps while lvling Bladesurge will give me a VERY potential harrasing tool.
I find her to be similar in that phase to Pantheon. And this is how you should think of yourself. Squishy but with good burst damage.


+ Great burst
+ Good mix of Magic, Physical and Pure damage makes you hard to counter.
+ Mana effective
+ Flexible (Great assasin early game, good burster mid game, great dpser late game)
+ Quite team undependant
+ Good health regen even without lifesteal
+ Great farmer
+ Not that vurneable to CC due to passive
+ Good melee dps that can deal damage even when blinded
+ Thornmail will not hurt you that much :)
+ Good CC

- Squishy mid game
- Cooldown dependant
- Cant focus on 1 thing makes itemisation hard
- Dependable on kills/killsteals
- Costy itemisation


Ionian Fervor - Each nearby enemy champion (to a maximum of three) reduces the effectiveness of Crowd Control on Irelia.

1 Champion: 10%
2 Champions: 25%
3 Champions: 40%

This is a straightforward but VERY effective passive. While you dont have problems with going 1v1 the teamfights are much trickier. This passive will save your sorry *** plenty of times, and tbh you will probably not even notice it.
People usualy stack this passive with Mercury's Treads. While this is valid on for example 5 stun team i wouldnt recomend it for most of the games coz of this passive. Its enaugh.

Bladesurge - (Active): Irelia dashes forward to strike her target, dealing physical damage.
If it kills the target, Bladesurge's cooldown refreshes and refunds 35 Mana.

Cost: 70 Mana
Range: 650
Cooldown: 14/12/10/8/6 seconds
Physical Damage: 20/50/80/110/140 (+1 per Attack Damage)

For me, the MOST important skill. Early game it is a harras tool that deals quite alot of damage. Lately it got even boosted range. You can safely lasthit minions while always be able to jump in the action immidietly. It can be used to get easy lasthits. Mana cost is very low untill you accualy lasthit the mobs with it.
This skill triggers "on hit effects" like red buff/mallet/bloodrazor/sheen/TF/LB as well as lifesteal AND your Hiten Style pure damage proc. Unfortunatly it doesnt crit. Your initiate/harras/lasthitter/chaser skill.

Hiten Style - (Passive): Physical attacks restore health.
(Active): Irelia's physical attacks deal additional true damage for 6 seconds.

Cost: 40 Mana
Cooldown: 15 sec
Heal: 10/14/18/22/26
True Damage: 15/30/45/60/75

Skill that many Irelias take as "1st to max". As this is a good idea if you are jungling i dont recomend maxing it on this build. This would require going more for AS instead of items i suggest in this guide. I suggest taking 1 point in it on lvl 4 for a bitsy damage boost but mostly for the heal it provides. This will delay your need of getting lifesteal items.
This skill could be usefull if the early game looked like a dps fight. Unfortunatly in early game to get kills you should focus on your burst damage and mobility. You will rarely take more than 2 hits, and this makes this skill not that "epic" as it looks like. Later on when ppl will get some armor, you will get some decent AS, and game will be more dps'ish style this skill fills the hole perfectly adding another source of great damage.

Equilibrium Strike - (Active): Irelia pierces her target, dealing magic damage and slowing the target by 60% for few seconds.
If the target has a higher health % than Irelia, she stuns the target for the duration instead.

Cooldown: 9 sec
Range: 425
Cost: 50/55/60/65/70 Mana
Magic Damage: 80/135/190/245/300 (+1 per Ability Power)
Duration: 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds

I choose to max this skill 2nd. This is the hardest skill to use on Irelia. It can be used early game as a part of your burst combo Bladesurge -> Equilibrium Strike or as a defensive tool for slow/stun. This spell requires some cold blood and coordination to make a 100% use of it. If you tend to panic on low HP, i dont think this champ is made for you.
You should lvl this up when you cant lvl up Ulti or Q to make your burst bigger and CC longer.
Also this is a great tool to get this Phage proc. You slow down your target by using Equilibrium Strike and than you have 2-3 hits to proc Phage and get another slow on your target. Luring enemies while beeing on low hp to your tower to use your Equilibrium Strike and stun right under the tower to finish the job by bladesurging is a common thing to do on those greedy newbies.

Transcendent Blades - (Active): Irelia summons 4 spirit blades which she can fling to deal physical damage to enemies they pass through, and she heals for 20% of that damage vs champions and 10% vs minions.

Cost: 100 Mana
Cooldown: 60/50/40 seconds
Magic Damage: 85/135/185 (+0.5 per ability power AND +0.6 per bonus attack damage)

Ultimate. This is a low CD, medicore penetrating damage spell that can be used in various ways. Heal, farm, deal AoE damage in teamfights, finish of runners and many more.
When you trigger this spell you will have 10s time to shoot 4 blades at 1000 range to a cursor position (like Karthus Q) The blades will fly through enemy champions, creeps dealing same damage (does not get the damage reduced for multiple targets). This will also heal you for 20% of the amount of damage dilivered to champions and 10% from minions. That is why you should try to hit as many targets as possible.
Now the best part of this ultimate. It totaly ignores movement of your champion. What does it mean? Well you can run at full speed and still shoot those blades without the need of stoping even for a sec. This makes it so unique. More of info in the skill usage section.


-> -> ->

Unlike many irelia players i priotize lvling Bladesurge early game. You simply dont have the luxury to dps and count on Hiten Style procs. In early game when towers are very close, all that matters is the burst damage. Decrecing CD on this spell will give you the opportunity to engage with it and than finish off with it as well reseting the CD for another charge in opportunity.

Another skill that you will try to max out when you cant put a point either in Transcendent Blades or Bladesurge is Equilibrium Strike.
Why? Its your only CC, you should be able to count on it. That is the main reasons on picking this skill as 2nd to go. It is also a great tool to increase your overall burst damage since this skill will deal the most damage in single hit on early game.

Last skill (but you should have 1 point in it on lvl 4) is Hiten Style. As this is NOT a jungling guide (i might add a jungling part of it sooner or later) i dont focus on this at all. It is a great skill for tanky champions when they accualy get some MR/AR later in the game, also the heal from lvl 1 paired with a quick Zeke's Harbinger in the build should cover your heal needs.

You should ofc take Transcendent Blades whenever possible. Simply becouse its your ultimate. Heal, ranged damage just all you realy need from an ultimate.


Noooooow... this is the most important section on this guide. This is what differs good Irelias from **** ones. For one is the skill order 2nd one is using your skills in right way and in right moment.

Irelia can be played as a simple dps champion which is not that effective without good set of items and to be able to get a decent dps you need lategame. This build is done other way.
It focuses on Burst early game, control and assasination in mid game and dps in late game.

Early game

Your main combo will be simply:
-> .

This is a great way to easily harras your opponents dealing fair amount of damage.
Just like on Katarina combo of -> you should -> and instantly run back. Opponents will in most cases try to run away from you leaving you with totaly free harras.

Dont do it too often in early game becouse this could lead to mana starvation.

From lvl 4 you can do a
-> -> .
Do this combo only when you are going for kill, other than that save the mana for more Bladesurging.

This champion has also a VERY nice attack animation so lasthit like a mad man, if you miss the lasthit or didnt do enaugh damage to kill the minion coz of missjudgement on damage, dont hesistate to use Bladesurge as your last hitter. Abuse the fact that it costs 50% of mana and refreshes the cd on each minion kill.

Mid game

Your Bladesurge should be already at lvl 5. You should have 1 point in Transcendent Blades and Phage+ Sheen equipped (if it went not so well you will have at least Phage.
From the time you have Sheen, you should get plenty occasions on dilivering final blow on your opponent with Bladesurge. Since Bladesurge instantly activates and uses the charge from Sheen it will deal massive instant damage. Dont hesistate on lasthitting enemy champions if you want to carry later on. Also this refreshes your CD so you can initiate on next target within second. There is no KSing on Irelia it is called killing. So ignore crybabies accusing you of killstealing, this is a part of beeing Irelia. You kill = you get a refresh, just like with Yi Ultimate.

Your main combo should look like one of those:

Start with
-> and:

Enemy is fleeing?
-> with constant active dps.

Enemy fights back?
DPS DPS DPS you can add for some healing and bonus damage.
You could missjudge your dps so:
Enemy is starting to win the dps fight?
for stun on low HP -> for damage and more heal.
Enemy starts to run away? Look above in "Enemy is fleeing" section.

End game

You cant clearly tell when endgame begins for Irelia. It might be time when you get your IE or it might be time when you are lvl 18.
Now you have to think a bit more and judge more clearly. Going in as a missjudgent will grand you a nice and painfull death.

How to check if you should go in?
1st of all, check your damage output via using BEFORE going in. It might not grand you a kill later on when enemies are fleeing but will show your damage output quite clearly.

So when you see a teamfight, position yourself in a way that allows you to fire blades on as many targets as you can. This will not only "soften" your targets a bit but also show you how much damage you are able to diliver.


Use your blades, and try to position yourself for your next action, than when you are done with shooting your blades, pick a squishy target positioned somewhere in the back or on the side and charge him using standard
-> ->
combo. This target SHOULD be dead. If not that means you somewhere missed some gear or you got cced while trying to kill that target (that shouldnt matter too much due to your passive )

Now the teamfight should be 5v4 or even 5v3 (if your team is doing good), try to pick up another squishy and execute the combo again. If you see that ppl are fleeing and the only thing that is left behind is a tank... well pitty him and just focus him down remembering to use and (whenever you are unlucky with Phage proc in your Trinity Force.

Whetever you do remember you are not invicible and this guide is not tolerating too much rambo. You are a dps, not a tank so you are some kind of squishy, but for that price you get great damage capabilities.


Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Quintessence of Desolation
Greater Seal of Evasion
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction

My standard Rune build for physical champions.
Tons of Armor Penetration paired with some dodge to fullfill the role of Nibleness Mastery and Cooldown Reduction for more bladesurging.

You can also go for a
Greater Seal of Vitality
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
for more survivability.


A rather standard 21/9/0 setup.
Why? Well offense is rather obvious for most physicals (i also take Archaic Knowledge ) for her magic damage.
9 in defense for Nimbleness that synergies greatly with my Greater Seal of Evasion runes and Ninja Tabi if you take them.




Start off with Long Sword and 1 Health Potion and go for a double lane (top/bot). Dont fight for mid, you are not akali :P
Long Sword is great way too boost your last hitting capabilities on both melee and bladesurge. We will make Phage out of it later so it will not go wasted.

Try to focus on lasthitting mobs through lvls 1-3. Dont harras too much since remember you only have 1 Health Potion for regen and another regen will come at lvl 4 which might be a bit too late or lvl 6 for ulti regen. Dont hesitate on using Bladesurge for lasthitting while you are getting harrased by ranged champs. But dont risk, you want to stay on lane untill lvl 5-6 at least. This will gather for you that 1100g you need on your 1st trip back to base.

Recent changes made her ultimate deal physical damage which ruined the idea of using Sorcerer's Shoes. It now closes to the pick between Ninja Tabi and Mercury's Treads.
The choice has to be yours and dependable on enemy team. If you are unsure, get Ninja Tabi, it will synergy nicely with your Nimbleness mastery and dodge runes while your passive will take the Mercury's Treads equivalent.
Other choice could be Ionian Boots of Lucidity, but you dont need that much CDR on Irelia.

Now we have to focus on getting our Trinity Force ready since this is the most important item in this build.

Building Trinity Force will boost your assasination skills as well as making the enemy champion finishing way easier.
Start of with making Phage 1st out of your Long Sword. This will give you the HP you will need to stay alive against most situations, providing that extra proc that will open the gate for Hiten Style to be viable in early game. (I mostly use Hiten Style Only when i see a Phage proc affecting my enemy.

Next stop is our beloved Sheen. This is one of the biggest boosts for you in early/mid game. It should be completed asap after Phage so as soon as you get your 1260g go back ad buy it. Bladesurge procs it and deals damage instantly on the hit. You cant get anything else more bursty than this at this point of the game.

If the game is going REALY good and you feel you have the guts, power, and expirience in playing Irelia, you might swap the sequence to Sheen -> Phage.

Zeal is not that big upgreade for you so try to gather enaugh cash (1195g+300g=1495g) to complete your Trinity Force in a single trip back.

I suggest now a bit jungling, so you will need some lifesteal. Buy at least a standalone Vampiric Scepter, or if possible Targon's Brace. We will make a Zeke's Harbinger out of it. Your damage output should be ok due to Trinity Force beeing quite flexible with the proc also. The AS that Zeke's Harbinger provides will be a great addiction to your Hiten Style that you should be lvling right now. Also more hits = more chance on getting the Phage proc we realy want when we dont have the lizard buff.

When we are done with AS and lifesteal we can focus on gettin ourselves at point of beeing a threatening target even to tanks. Teamfights will last longer and we want to take down those squishy targets ASAP. That is why our next item should be Infinity Edge.
Well you cant crit with Bladesurge but still this is the best option there is atm.
You can swap this item either for The Bloodthirster or The Black Cleaver. But. Thirster will need you to farm a bit to be always effective, and TBC will need some "warming up" before it kicks in. I find IE the best choice. Up to you what you pick.

The last item from the core is Banshee's Veil. I always go for Banshee here since it gives me the advantage of beeing consuming 1 cc. That will let me to go in a teamfight without beeing scared that i will be killed before i can do anything. It gives Mres that you will need against pesky burst casters as well as HP. Mana is a nice thing too, coz you can skip getting Golem buff at all now. Physical damage dealers should not be a problem for you if you use your Equilibrium Strike in a right way.

If you are doing REALY good and you can afford it... than you can delay the banshee and get a Hextech Gunblade‎ right after IE. This will make you rather GODLIKE (or even Legendary :P). The damage output from just Bladesurge will be devastating (1/3rd of squishy HP in just charge? GIEV)

Other good items later are:
Guardian Angel - well core for any competitive game.
The Black Cleaver - For tanky teams
Phantom Dancer - To boost your True damage output as well as boosting critting ability for IE crit damage.


From the time you get Trinity Force done you will be able to farm extremaly fast and efficiently.
Simply do a melee hit -> Bladesurge, melee hit Bladesurge and so on.
This melee and skill combo will take most creeps instantly. Abuse it to farm farm farm, you are there to carry the team so you need gear.
Before getting TF (but with Sheen) you should be able to do the same but with Hiten Style active.

Early game towerstun EZ kill.
If you are low on HP and your opponents are greedy, dont forget about your Equilibrium Strike. If you stay calm at tower you are able to take down most opponents with use of your own tower.
When you feel enemy champion will towerdive you for a "easy kill" suprise him with
-> into stun under your tower. And there you go. You just got yourself a greedy champion kill.
This also works when you have your ultimate already, at the moment he starts to towerdive clear the enemy creep wave by using Transcendent Blades. 1stly you will get alot of HP back due to the 20%(10%) damage dealt heal and 2dly there will be no creeps to take tower shots for the enemy. Than again do a surge-stun combo to get an easy kill.

Transcendent Blades has many other use options. Dont hesistate to use it as a simple heal to stay longer on your lane and farm creeps. Just get a whole minion wave in a single ulti. The CD is so low that it will be back again when you need it.

Did i mention Transcendent Blades is totaly not affected by your movement?
Weeeeeell... What does it mean?
You can constantly move while shooting blades. This is a great and imho OP way of using the ulti...
1. ATTACK! - You can dps a champion while spamming R! It will not break your swing timer, it will just add a great chunk of damage!
2. CHASE! - You can chase your opponent and still dps him even when not in melee range without the need of stopping even for 0.00001s to "cast" a blade!
3. FLEE! - You are low on HP and you are running, you see a great bunch of enemies chasing you with huge caster minion wave! well Make use of that :)
Firstly you have to click quite far away on your fleeing direction, than position your mouse cursor at your back aaaand do the magic... Use your Transcendent Blades and spam R while your champion is moving forward you are shooting "healing blades" from your own ***.
This can even make a situation from beeing a prey to beeing the hunter.

I Realy hope you will enjoy this guide and this playstyle so i could see more vital Irelias on the battlefield. This guide is open for voting, i didnt tag it to require comments to vote so please think 2 times before voting. Any feedback on why it didnt work out for you or what obstacles did you get playing this guide are GREATLY needed.

Have fun!